I'm a hobby baker who is still learning/practicing. When I make cupcakes I do not put them in the frig because I've learned it can dry the cupcakes out (and I don't like hard and cold frosting). If I'm baking for something or someone, I do it as close to the time they are needed as possible so they are fresh.
Anyway, in my area there's a cupcake shop that I went to today. They serve lunch but their focus is cupcakes. I've had them once at a wedding and they were just okay.
Today I ordered 6 cupcakes to taste test. They had obviously been in the frig. The cream cheese frosting on the cookies 'n cream cupcake was hard and cold. It wasn't light and fluffy like I'm used to. I don't know, maybe that's how they want their cupcakes to be, but the frosting on a few was so hard that when I tried to cut through with a fork the sponge squished way down because of the pressure from trying to cut through the frosting with a fork.
Anyway, I am amazed that this place does pretty well. The sandwich I had was great, they have a really good location, and for as big of a city as this area is, there are almost NO cupcake shops (it would be a gold mine to open a cupcake shop in this area!). Because of this I have a feeling they do well with weddings and catering because there's no competition.
I never refrigerate cupcakes (or cakes, for that matter) for the reason you stated...dryness. I also don't use perishable fillings or icings so it has never been an issue. On top of that, I absolutely HATE cold icings. just my two cents!
I agree, putting cupcakes in the fridge dries them out so is a no~no. However, I've had some pretty moist refrigerated cupcakes from shops. I wonder if it's due to preservatives used in their commerically produced cake mix? Or perhaps it depends on how long they've been refrigerated. There is a shop here who supplies to service stations. If you buy directly from the shop they are cold, but have been made a few hours before. If you buy from the service station they are cold but were made the DAY before.